BELIZE JOURNAL PT. 2 on constitutional crisis. God sees the body of Christ in Belize as one. What is the current state of our union? Like the body politic, it can be measured by how much we abide by our constitution. Rick Joyner says that the US has a constitutional crisis. The main problems the US faces are due to the neglect of the US constitution, and the main solution to its problems is a return to the US constitution.
Likewise the union of churches in Belize has had a constitutional crisis. A few years ago the BAEC constitution was changed to provide representation for every district of Belize instead of being concentrated in Belize City. New BAEC chapters were formed and gained members in every district of Belize. In April 2014 BAEC members met together and approved the new constitution by consensus.
Since then a few leaders in Belize City have been neglecting that constitution. Contrary to both the new and old constitution, they did not hold general BAEC meetings in October of 2014 or in January, April or July of 2015. Contrary to both the new and old constitution, they suspended the members of every other district without prior notice, allegation or trial. Contrary to both the new and old constitution, they met and voted without a sufficient number of members present.
One of those votes elected a Church Senator. The Church Senator will represent the entire evangelical body of Belize for the next five years on the 12-member national Senate. He was largely unaware of the constitutional crisis or how unconstitutional his election was. Now the Church Senator is planning to meet with representatives of the 200+ churches who continue to abide by the constitution, even though we were unconstitutionally suspended. Though the name BAEC was taken away from us, we continue to work together as we have for about four years.
Following the constitution, on October 16 we elected national officers. Since then we’ve continued to pursue Belize City leaders for reconciliation. We’ve held off questions about the conflict from outsiders hoping that we could resolve it before it became public knowledge.
But it did become public knowledge. We sought to put questions to rest instead of provoking unnecessary controversy. We participated in a flurry of back-and-forth texts and emails about fast-breaking developments. We engaged in long discussions with people on both sides. We worked to bring the issue back into the church and out of the capricious court of public opinion (see 1 Cor. 6:1-6).]
When some press coverage became reckless we wrote press releases and held a press conference. At the same time we at NEAB realized that we could not let the impasse with Belize City leaders paralyze the rest of the church. We registered as the National Evangelical Association of Belize with Articles much like those of the old BAEC, making it easy for Belize City members to rejoin us. We set up meetings with the Prime Minister and the Church Senator to represent the concerns of our growing number of now 244+ churches. We strategized to meet potential challenges from the LGBT and drug-decriminalization lobbies. They could seek to exploit our internal problems and seize the momentum for themselves.
We plan to be a more active organization than the previous BAEC. And so we need yet more biblical and legal guidelines for our future activities. We adopted Robert’s Rules of Order—written by a Baptist church leader—so we could make better and more enforcible decisions. We are now drawing up bylaws with intent to avoid future unnecessary difficulties or constitutional crisis.
If only we had followed the biblical procedures which we already had for dealing with any erring member a year ago! Then none of this controversy would have happened. Now we must undergo the Lord’s discipline for failing to ensure the proper discipline in His body during the past year. Pray that in the new year we will not repeat the mistakes of the old. They have cost us dearly. But it is a price worth paying for the entire body which Christ died for, that we may live in better oneness with Him.
PRAY WITH US. Father God, we thank You for giving us Your Son Jesus Christ. We thank You that He died in the body to forgive our sins. We thank You that He rose from the dead to give us His new life. We thank You for making us one in Him. Help us to care for every member of His body as You do. Help us to appreciate the unique part each one plays in our unity with You. Help us to cooperate with Your discipline when any members goes against Your ways. We all stumble in many ways. Have mercy on us and correct us. Show us how to have mercy and correct one another. Show us how to cover over a multitude of sins when that is necessary.
As this constitutional crisis has unfolded, we have often sinned against each other. We have sinned in thought and in deed. Forgive us and help us to forgive each other. Show us Your higher thoughts and higher ways. Help us walk in them together. Help us welcome anyone in error who seeks to return to Your ways. Make us an example of Your grace before this nation. It has experienced much conflict and brokenness in relationships and families. It needs to see conflicts resolved and brokenness healed in the family of God. As the birthday of Your Son approaches, let there be church and family reunions like never before. For that is what He came for, to reconcile the world to You. Give us Your vision for the New Year. Begin many new works in us. Help us be faithful with You to complete them. Work out all these things to our good and to Your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read more in Year end review — to judge ourselves rightly.
DailyInsight. God is faithful to complete the good work He began in you through trials that make you complete (see Php. 1:6; James 1:2-3).
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